Fringe Box



Surrey MP Kwasi Kwarteng To Quit

Published on: 6 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 8 Feb, 2024

Spelthorne MP Kwasi Kwarteng addresses residents at a public meeting for Save Staines Park. Photo: Save Staines Park Group

By Chris Caulfield

local democracy reporter

Spelthorne MP and former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has announced his intention to stand down at the next election.

Mr Kwarteng informed his constituency association on Monday that he would not fight the election expected to occur later this year.

He said: “It has been an honour to serve the residents of Spelthorne since 2010, and I shall continue to do so for the remainder of my time in Parliament.”

The historically safe Conservative seat has only ever returned one Labour MP in more than 100 years, and Mr Kwarteng secured an 18,393 majority at the last election.

More than 80 MPs have announced they will leave Parliament at the next election, including high profile Surrey MPs such as Dominic Raab, Crispin Blunt, Chris Grayling, and Paul Beresford, more than the 74 who retired in 2019.

Kwasi Kwarteng presenting his calamitous Mini Budget to the House of Commons on September 23, 2022.

Coming from the right of the Conservative Party, Mr Kwarteng was a key ally of Liz Truss and served as her chancellor for 38 days before he was sacked amid the chaos caused by his tax-cutting mini-budget.

His brief tenure made him the second shortest-serving chancellor behind Iain Macleod, who died a month after taking office in 1970.

Prior to his time at the Treasury, Mr Kwarteng served in a number of junior ministerial roles before becoming business secretary under Boris Johnson in 2021.

In the same year, he was criticised for saying parliamentary standards commissioner Kathryn Stone should “consider her position” during the row over Owen Paterson, who had been found to have breached Commons rules by engaging in paid lobbying. Mr Kwarteng later apologised for his comments.

He also co-authored a paper Policy Bites: Seven Shots in the Arm of Britain, as a member of The Free Enterprise Group.

The report advocated the construction of a new runway north of the main Heathrow site at Sipson, and a southern runway that would require swathes of his own constituency to be demolished – something he said was “intended to provoke debate”.

Since leaving office, he has been offered a part-time role as an adviser to Australian mining company Fortescue Future industries, involving two days per week working in the company’s green energy business.

He has also been a regular guest on GB News, receiving £1,000 per appearance on the channel.

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Responses to Surrey MP Kwasi Kwarteng To Quit

  1. Stuart Barnes Reply

    February 8, 2024 at 8:54 am

    Rather sad really. He is one of the very few actual Conservatives left in the so called Conservative Party.

    The destruction of what was once a great party goes back to the appalling “Call me Dave” Cameron. It has never recovered from those days.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    February 9, 2024 at 6:30 pm

    Almost the most unbelievable thing about “Kamikwasi” was that he managed to get a PhD in economic history.

    • John Perkins Reply

      February 10, 2024 at 9:37 am

      We can be sure his PhD enabled him to understand economics, but not politics.

      It seems likely his real failure was to imagine those around him had the interests of the people of this country at heart.

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    February 17, 2024 at 9:03 am

    Mr Kwarteng had many talents and interests, including history. So what on earth possessed him to lead what was, in effect, a putsch?

    It has not escaped anyone’s notice that we are indeed extraordinarily badly governed. But Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng did not have reasoned and evidenced remedies.

    Politicians have not identified the problems, let alone the remedy. The biggest single problem is that HM Government is not accountable.

    The notion that Ministers are accountable to anyone, let alone Parliament, is a myth. See the analysis in Blunders of our Governments, for example:-

    It turns out that Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng were part of the problem rather than the solution.

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